Vaccine passports for English nightclubs could be reimplemented with just one week's notice, according to the latest government guidance.
The new 'COVID-19 RESPONSE: AUTUMN & WINTER PLAN' was published Tuesday 14th September and specifies a number of possible 'Plan B' actions that could be introduced if new cases of coronavirus do not fall in the coming weeks, and the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed by hospitalisations, as the British winter draws in. The news comes just days after lawmakers back-tracked on plans to roll out a vaccine passport system for English venues this month.
In the event of Plan B coming into effect, so-called "vaccine passports", officially referred to as Vaccine-only COVID-status Certification, would be required for entry into a number of different settings, including all nightclubs, indoor spaces with more than 500 attendees, outdoor locations with more than 4,000 people, and all situations with crowds of 10,000 or more. Crucially, promoters and club owners are being asked to make contingency preparations, with a warning policy change could happen within one week of any announcement.
Other Plan B measures in the published document include mandatory mask-wearing in public, and renewed advice to work from home where possible. At the time of writing, the UK is recording a rolling average of 32,386 positive test results per day, with hospitalisations averaging around 1,000 per day. The vast majority of infections and admissions are in England.
Last week it was announced that clubs in neighbouring Scotland will be required to operate a vaccine passport scheme from 1st October. Several countries in the EU, including France, and the Netherlands, have introduced similar systems, as have parts of Germany including Berlin, where clubs are only reopening on the basis that attendees must prove full vaccination. Meanwhile, in the US states such as New York have also opted-in to comparable schemes.